Protecting Lulu

By: J.M. Jeffries

She grinned revealing the sexiest, whitest teeth Noah had ever seen. She walked toward him, hips swaying to some hot little beat. “Hi, I’m Lulu.”

With those three words, Noah’s resolve to turn the job down crashed and burned. He glanced at Wilder and saw the man cough to cover a look of amusement in his bland eyes.

Noah liked his women blonde and athletic, but Lulu with her seductive lips and sexy walk brought a whole new kind of want to Noah’s suddenly stretched nerves. Tall, with killer curves wrapped in flawless ivory skin, she was the kind of woman who adorned pin-up posters in the 1940s and 50s. Those pouty ruby red lips looked like they were made for all kinds of sin. Angelina Jolie eat your heart out.

Noah’s palms started to sweat.

She walked passed Noah to her brother and kissed him on the cheek. “Sorry I’m late, the show ran a bit over.”

Show, Noah thought. He ran through what he knew about her. She was a mogul in her own right with a magazine and a talk show. The facts kept jumbling in his mind, his thoughts kept skittering away while he studied her. Focus, man, focus.

Bennington gave his sister an indulgent smile. “For you, this is early.”

Noah observed the interaction between the two. Even he could see they were tight. That worked to his team’s advantage. They looked a lot alike with their dark hair and dark eyes. They carried themselves well. She was breathtaking in soft seductive way that screamed all woman while the brother was stiff and uptight.

“Introduce me, sweetie.” Lulu twined her arm around her brother’s. She glanced around the room, her gaze lingering for a moment on Noah. “I’m assuming I will be spending a lot of time with these people.”

Noah’s mind went blank. While he groped for a comment to make, Harrison took the initiative and stuck out his hand. “Harrison Bain, ma’am.”

“Lulu.” She smiled at Harrison, her eyes moving from his brown skinned face, down his toned body and then back up again.

Noah felt as though he were melting. He wanted to touch her; he wanted to thread his fingers through her hair. He wanted…he wanted … oh hell no, don’t go there.

“How do you do?” Harrison gazed down at Lulu with her hand clenched in his.

“Very well, thank you.” She studied him. “Are you by any chance related to Debra Bain at the district attorney’s office?”

Harrison grinned happily. “She’s my wife.”

Lulu smiled widened. “I adore her. We’ve done several fund raisers together. Please, tell her I said hello.”

“Of course.”

Dante held out his hand. “Dante Jimenez.”

She shook his hand and gave him her dazzling smile. “Texas?”

“Yes ma’am.”

Noah could see the big Latino was already smitten with her and generally Dante was immune to charm. The former West Point grad was folding like an old lawn chair.

Lulu shook her finger at him. “You’re not a Cowboy’s fan are you?”

Dante shook his dark head. “Never heard of them.”

“Good answer,” she said with a throaty laugh. “You Texas boys are always so polite.”

She was flirting with them. In two seconds, she’d charmed them all and would be leading them around by their noses. Noah was going to have nip this shit in the bud real quick, or they’d have a client who’d be dead in a week. That was not good for business.

“Roman Baptiste,” Roman said quietly as she shook his hand. His blond hair flopped over his forehead as he looked down. Lulu was tall, but Roman was six five in his bare feet with muscles on his muscles. He could bench press an elephant.

Lulu rattled off something in French too fast for Noah to catch it. His French was adequate enough to get around, but he wasn’t fluent. Roman smiled. In all the years since Noah had met him on a joint French-American exercise in Iraq, Roman had rarely smiled. Noah wasn’t sure who was more shocked, him or Roman.

Lulu winked at Roman with a saucy tilt to her head and the former French commando actually blushed like an adolescent school boy. They were in trouble.

E. J., the lone woman in Noah’s employ, stepped forward with a grin. “E. J. Wexler. I’m pleased to meet you.”

E. J. was nice to look at. She cleaned up pretty good too, from her deep red hair to her pale baby face.

Lulu’s eyebrows rose. “How did you .get into the boy’s club?”

E.J. being the straight shooter she was, told the truth. “They needed a thief.” E. J. slanted a glance at Noah with a hint of pride in her eyes.

E. J. used to be one of the best in the business. They didn’t call her The Snake for nothing. She could get in and out of spaces that made Noah cringe.

“Impressive.” Lulu leaned forward. “We’re going to have some serious girl talk.”

E. J. nodded. “I’d be happy to have some serious girl talk with you. I don’t get that chance too often.”

Noah couldn’t help but admire Lulu. She flirted with women just as easily as men. Shit, Lulu Bennington was lethal. Who could dislike her enough to want her dead?

“Gideon Lazlo.” Gideon stepped forward. Built like a soccer player, he was slim and lithe; the dark haired, retired CIA mechanic was the perfect edition to the team.

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